Mesilla ("Little Tableland") is the best-known and most visited historical community in Southern New Mexico. Since its' beginning, around 1848, Mesilla has had a major influence on the economic, cultural, historical, and political life of the Mesilla Valley. From the Gadsden Purchase, to the Civil War, to the Butterfield Stage Coach Trail, to the trial of Billy the Kid, to being a lively social center in the 1880s--Mesilla has been a prominent part of the rich history of the Southwest.
This $7.4 million museum celebrates the 3000 year agricultural story of New Mexico...from the first farmers in their rustic pithouses more than 1200 years ago to the modern day technology which is helping New Mexico be a leader in the dairy industry.
Dripping Springs is an amazing wildlife viewing opportunity with 4 miles of easy hikes. The Center is open to the public from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The preserve is open from 8:00 A.M. to sunset year round. Day use fees apply on a per vehicle basis. As water finds its way to the surface year-round, Dripping Springs is a desert oasis where unique animal species thrive including Red-Tail Hawk, Gambel's Quail, Golden Eagle, Rock Squirrel, Black-Throated Sparrow, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Lesser Nighthawk, Desert Mule Deer and Coyote to name a few. Another good hike from the Visitor Center takes you up to the ruins of Major Eugene Van Patton's Camp, built originally in 1872, later to be a tuberculosis sanatorium in the early 1900s.
CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS FROM 6/30/14 TO THE END OF AUGUST 2014. Host to a permanent local historical exhibit and changing cultural exhibits, as well as educational programs, classes, and other special events. The center is located in a building listed on the National and State Registries of Historic Buildings.
The museum includes over 5000 square feet of multi-use exhibition space. Features traveling exhibits of contemporary art with both regionally or nationally-known artists. An extensive art studio class program is run by the museum for all ages. Visit the Las Cruces Museum online for more information.
The LCMNH Education Department's mission is to develop programs and educate the southern New Mexico community in various subject areas of natural history and science. Come and experience science and the natural history of the Chihuahuan Desert up-close and hands-on at the Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science. Our education staff is skilled and experienced in working with, and involving, people of all ages. Join us for a fun and educational museum experience.
A park located along the western bank of the Rio Grande River and 1.5 miles southwest of the town of Mesilla. The park encompasses 52 acres of floodplain known as the "Old Refuge," as well as 945 acres of wetlands and Chihuahuan Desert . Bird-watching tours, ranger-led nature walks, and children's activities are available. The goals of this park are conservation, education, restoration and protection of natural and cultural resources.
Surrounding Area Courses
Visit the Oldest Wine Producing Region in the U.S. The first Spanish explorers and settlers, beginning in the early 1500's, brought their European wines grapes with them as they made the sunny, fertile Rio Grande valley their new home. These original grape stocks remain the source of many of New Mexico's vintners to this day. In the 1580s, Missionary priests were busily producing sacramental wines. By the 19th century, vineyards and wineries dotted the Rio Grande valley from Bernallilo south to the Mexican border. Census data in 1880 identified 3,150 New Mexico acres dedicated to producing 905,000 barrels of wines per year. During prohibition, legal wine production ceased. New Mexico wineries made a resurgence in the early 1980's. Currently, over 5,000 acres are under cultivation as the U.S. rediscovers the bounty of Rio Grande wine country.
Located on Hermosa Street behind the Meerscheidt Recreation Center. Dog park provides water and two shaded areas with chairs for people to relax which their critters make new friends.
Fort Selden, established in April, 1865, was the protectorate of the southern tip of the Journada del Muerto and the military road to the west. Its strategic location along the Rio Grande helped it perform its job superbly.
Leasburg Dam State Park offers year-round camping, picnicking and bird watching. From about mid-March through mid-October, the park also offers fishing, canoeing and kayaking in the Rio Grande. The dam channels water from the Rio Grande for irrigation in the Mesilla Valley. Nearby Fort Selden State Monument has a museum and trails at the site of a 19th century army outpost.
Palomas is located 50 miles west on I-10 to Deming, south on Rt.11 to Columbus, and 3 more miles south to the border. There's free parking on the U.S. side. Park and walk over. This town, much smaller than Juarez, also offers shopping, dining, dental and medical services. Enjoy margaritas and an awesome meal at the Pink Store while shopping for trinkets to bring home.
On March 9, 1916, the soldiers of General Francisco "Pancho" Villa attacked the small border town and military camp at Columbus, New Mexico (south of Deming at the border of Palomas, Mexico). Pancho Villa State Park contains extensive historical exhibits which depict this raid, the first armed invasion of the continental United States since the War of 1812, and also the last one.
About one hour from Las Cruces, takes its name from the incredible rock formations formed of volcanic ash 30 million years ago and sculpted by wind and water into rows of monolithic blocks. Cactus gardens and hiking trails add to this unique destination. The rock formations at the park are so unique that they are only known to exist in six other places in the world. Imaginative visitors may see the rock formations as a small city, complete with houses, chimneys, courtyards, and streets.
Located one hour west on the rugged west slope of the Little Florida Mountains, Rockhound State Park is a favorite for "rockhounds" because of the abundant agates and quartz crystals found there. Hiking trails provide spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
About an hour's drive south of our campground, visit Wyler Aerial Tramway, Texas, which takes you to the top of Ranger Peak, elevation 5,632 ft, in the Franklin Mountains. Get a bird's-eye-view of New Mexico, Texas and Mexico all at once!
The largest and most popular lake in New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake State Park provides a setting for every imaginable water sport. The visitor center offers regional interpretive exhibits. The mild climate of the area makes this park a popular year-round destination.
The town - not the game - is located about 70 miles north on I-25. Famous for both its name and spas, we recommend a few places for day spa sessions: Charles Motel & Hot Springs, www.charlesspa.com, 575-894-7154; Fire Water Lodge Hot Springs Spa, www.firewaterlodge.com, 575-740-0315; La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa, www.lapalomahotspringsandspa.com, 575-894-3148; Riverbend Hot Springs at Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, www.riverbendhotsprings.com, 575-894-7625; and Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa, www.sierragrandelodge.com 575-894-6976. Soak yourself!